Proposal would require point-of-sale retailers accept cash in Florida
A proposed Florida bill would require point-of-sale retailers to accept cash for goods and services or face fines up to $10,000. House Bill 233, filed by Rep. Matt Willhite, D-Wellington, and Senate Bill 408, sponsored by Sen. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, are designed to ensure Floridians without credit cards, bank accounts and smartphones can participate in a rapidly digitalizing economy. [Source: The Center Square]
New business financing strategies emerge as South Florida becomes ‘Silicon Valley East’
By now, there is little doubt that South Florida’s swift ascendancy in the technology ecosystem is emblematic of a permanent change to our local business economy. Perhaps the most recent sign of confidence in the region’s tech boom came earlier this month when Silicon Valley Bank, a staple banker to growing technology companies, announced that it would open a Miami office in Brickell. According to Silicon Valley Bank, the firm banks nearly half of all venture-backed companies in the United States. [Source: Miami Herald]
Sports gambling won’t start when Florida said it could. But it’s in the cards, so here’s what you should know
Thousands of South Floridians had visions of scurrying up to a betting window Friday at a Seminole casino in Hollywood or Coconut Creek, peeling off some bucks, and placing a legal wager on a NFL or college football game. Others had visions of sitting at home, sipping on a beverage, and placing a bet on their cellphone, tablet or laptop. After all, Oct. 15, is the first day legalized sports betting can begin in Florida. But it won’t happen — yet. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Bass: It's what's for dinner? New Florida law allows it to be farm-raised, sold in markets
Coming soon to your neighborhood seafood market: farm-raised Florida largemouth bass. Thanks to a law passed this spring, bass will expand its popularity from a favorite fishing target to the seafood sales list in the Sunshine State. At face value, the issue seems simple. Allow a popular well-known species of fish to be farmed and sold in Florida — two things that have not been allowed for decades. However, when Florida politics collide with fish management policy, nothing is easy. [Source: Florida Today ]
From Hollywood walk-on to starring role, Miami grabs the movie spotlight
As recently as 2011, movies and TV shows spent more than $400 million around Miami-Dade County. Then the state tax breaks dried up, sending Hollywood — and many of the South Florida residents who made their living in the film industry — to Atlanta, where incentives were too good to pass up. But in the vacuum left by the A-list stars, directors and crew members, a new generation of gifted filmmakers — most of them born and raised in Miami — have stepped in to tell stories about their city, their diverse cultures and their neighborhoods. Their films — most of them shorts — have traveled to film festivals around the world, from Sundance to Tribeca to Toronto to Berlin. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Brightline planning 320-mile Florida passenger rail route from Miami to Tampa by 2028 [Florida Today]
By 2028, Brightline hopes to launch higher-speed passenger train service along an $8 billion, 320-mile rail network stretching from Miami to Orlando to Tampa Bay. "We are challenging the way that we move between city to city. We are challenging the automobile," said Mike Cegelis, Brightline executive vice president of infrastructure. "We hope to take people out of cars and put them on trains between cities in this country," he said.
› Are Jacksonville restaurants recovering from the pandemic? Some are but others not so much, owners say [Florida Times Union]
Some dining rooms are filling up at Jacksonville restaurants as people gradually venture out to eat again, be it at a neighborhood diner, a fast-casual cafe or an upscale restaurant, nationwide research data indicates. However, it's unclear when Jacksonville restaurants will fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Recovery varies from one restaurant to another.
› Tampa airport flies to more destinations now than before the pandemic [Tampa Bay Times]
Tampa International Airport has more flights to more destinations than it it did before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Even though airport officials say Tampa International is still recovering from the economic stressors of the pandemic, Tampa is bucking the trend that’s slowed efforts at many other airports across the country.
› 100-job marine industry manufacturer wants to bring HQ and plant to Northwest Jacksonville [Jacksonville Daily Record]
An unidentified U.S.-based marine industry products maker and military contractor wants to bring its international headquarters, manufacturing facility and 100 jobs to Northwest Jacksonville. The code-name Project Fender would build a $7.4 million facility on vacant property in exchange for a $250,000 grant, according to city documents.
UF Research spending reached a record $942.2 million in fiscal year 2020, despite a two-month pause in most operations due to the pandemic. According to a new report to the National Science Foundation, research expenditures supported by the federal government increased to $397.2 million, while state and local expenditures increased to $169.2 million. Learn about ongoing UF research in areas such as Alzheimer’s, early childhood learning and agriculture.
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› Jacksonville and Nashville on different tracks for luxury hotel [Florida Times-Union]
In downtown Nashville, Tenn., construction is in the final stretch for a 40-story tower that will be a Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences when it opens in early 2022 near the Cumberland River. The view from the top of the tower will overlook a bustling downtown where 15,000 people live in the heart of "Music City," an entertainment and restaurant scene that helped Nashville land a regional headquarters for Amazon and a planned campus for Oracle. Jacksonville, which often compares itself to Nashville as a peer city, might become a Four Seasons city as well.
› ‘Dolphin Tale’ producer to make four Lifetime movies in Tampa Bay [Tampa Bay Times]
Move over Hallmark, make room for Lifetime. The Tampa Bay area has emerged as a hub for Hallmark romance movies. Three have been shot here since 2019. Now, the region is set to become a hub for thrillers being made for the Lifetime channel. One Lifetime movie is already being shot and three more will be made in Pinellas County over the next few months.
› As scandal roils Miami City Hall, Mayor Suarez stays away from the limelight [Miami Herald]
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, ambitious and eager to bask in the national spotlight, would rather not talk about City Hall right now. His brash, hand-picked police chief is alleging deep-seated corruption by some of the city’s powerful commissioners and claiming to have gone to the feds. Commissioners, in turn, have been slamming Miami’s new top cop in public, using a series of at times bizarre televised hearings to accuse Chief Art Acevedo of egomaniacal behavior and outline just how little vetting was done while luring the new chief away from his job in Houston.
› Thousands flock Lake Eola as Come Out With Pride makes triumphant return [Orlando Sentinel]
The 2021 Come Out With Pride festival returned to Lake Eola Park for its 17th edition after the COVID-19 pandemic made last year’s festivities mostly virtual with some in-person events. The main attraction, the pride parade throughout Downtown Orlando, was attended by thousands gathered along miles of sidewalks guiding the parade route.